The sardonic Broadway hit “The Drowsy Chaperone” that is full of wise cracks so dearly beloved by teenagers was a true smash hit this past week. The auditorium was well filled for three performances, and the cast moved with precision under the direction of Cindy Albertini and Music Director Katie Soukup.
The management of the enormous ensemble on stage and the choreography were outstanding. I never thought I would see a chorus line of a dozen young high school males tap dance so well. Choreographer Albertini deserves high praise for that number as well as all the other 1920s dances that were performed. Music Director Soukup did an amazing job of keeping up the pace of the action while giving each soloist the lea way to perform in the manner best suited to the voice and personality of each performer, ranging from the comedic turns by Mirella Petrillo as the Drowsy Chaperone to the almost Betty Boop blues type as done by Rachel Hyzny as the dim witted Kitty, There were several outstanding performances by the cast members.
Two characters in the show are phenomenal. One is Danny Drennan as the Man in the Chair, the theatre buff who plays his old 78 vinyl records and brings the characters from the 1920s in the spoof of the old musicals to life. He opens the show with the theatre in total darkness as he says, “I hate theater.” And continues ”Well. It’s so disappointing, isn’t it?”
He continues with his pithy comments throughout the entire show to the delight of the audience. Another star of the show was Colin Petersen as the oversexed Latin lover Aldolpho, who was never out of character..
It was a wonderful production with several more members of the cast deserving special praise. These include Samantha Castleton as Janet the Show Off star, Ben Skross as Robert, and Peter Magasiny as George, who admit when talking about marriage they have Cold Feet; and tiny Hannah Mourad as Trix the Aviatrix. Other featured players are Connor Lang as Feldzueg, Lydia Pebly and Kevin Fiss as gangsters, and Madison Brown as the self centered Mrs. Tottendale with Evan Shinn as am underling.
This rousing performance was a real community affair. There were 18 featured players, 42 in the ensemble on stage. 19 staff members, and 11 musicians in the pit orchestra.
In addition to these members of the cast there were 49 more plus the members of Friends of Music, There were five doing costumes, four doing make-up and hair, nine to build the set, four to paint the set, seven on sound and lights, 10 in the stage crew, four in props and four plus the Friends of Music on tickets, and food and flowers for the cast. It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes an entire community to present a show like this one. With all this dancing talent available, just think what a glorious time they will have at their proms, The play is not great drama but a spoof that kept the audience and the cast laughing almost continuously.